Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Building of Oshkosh Brewing Co.

The Oshkosh Public Library recently added a selection of Postcards of Oshkosh to their Online Digital Collection. Included among the images of businesses, churches and parks is this beauty:


The postcard isn’t dated, but since the inscription at the top reads “New Building of Oshkosh Brewing Co.”, it’s probably safe to assume that it was printed within a few years of 1911, the year of the brewery's construction. The four-story, red brick structure with its three tiered, gabled brewing tower became one of the tallest buildings in Oshkosh.

The new brewery marked several important changes for the Oshkosh Brewing Company. It allowed them to significantly increase production and it brought an end to their malting operations. Prior to 1911 Oshkosh Brewing made their own malt with barley supplied by farms in the Oshkosh area. But when the new brewery came online that practice ceased, as the company began purchasing their malt from commercial malting houses in Milwaukee and Manitowoc. The rush to modernization and specialization was on.

This was a state-of-the art facility and one of the most admired brewhouses in the Midwest. In fact it was still being praised for its beauty years after the company had ground to a halt. In his 1992 book Breweries of Wisconsin Jerry Apps wrote, “The old Oshkosh Brewing Company brewhouse remains one of the most attractive brewery buildings in the state.” He was a little late to the party. In 1992 there was nothing left of the place. It was demolished in the winter of 1986.


  1. Why did they demolish it? Are the people of Oshkosh insane? What idiocy.

  2. Yeah, it’s a damned shame. In the late 60s/early 70s breweries across Wisconsin went out of business and almost all of them were torn down. What a loss.